Important New Survey: The Ontario Basic Income Pilot (OBIP) Chronicles

When the new Ontario government announced it was cancelling the basic income pilot, it threw many recipients into turmoil. It also dimmed hopes for research potential that had captured the interest of people across Canada and around the world.

Participants in the pilot and supporters of basic income are not going quietly away, however.

“Some recipients took the very courageous step of identifying themselves publicly in order for us all to better understand how much basic income was improving lives,” notes John Mills, a member of the Basic Income Canada Network (BICN) and the Ontario Basic Income Network (OBIN), who organized media training for some of these individuals in Hamilton.

Other recipients, just like the many Canadians who receive seniors’ or children’s benefits, exercised their right to protect their own and their family’s privacy.

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Examining Iran’s Cash Transfer Program

In 2010, Iran replaced their energy subsidies with a cash transfer program, which was originally intended only for poor Iranians, but was expanded to go to everyone. We now have ample data to examine the effects on labor supply and a handful of other social metrics.

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Demonstrators rally against basic income cancellation in Thunder Bay

CBC News

About 30 people braved the cold weather on Tuesday afternoon to raise their voices at an anti-poverty rally outside city hall in Thunder Bay, Ont. 

Demonstrators held signs and set up tents at the event, which was organized by the grassroots group Disrupt and held to protest changes to provincial social assistance programs, including the cancelation of the basic income pilot. 

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Pythian CEO Paul Vallée pushing government to restore basic income

The co-founder of one of Ottawa’s leading tech companies is calling on the Ontario government to save the province’s basic income pilot, arguing the plan deserves a chance to show whether it can pull low-income residents out of poverty.

Pythian CEO Paul Vallée, who penned an open letter to Premier Doug Ford and Social Services Minister Lisa MacLeod last month expressing his opinion, told OBJ some of the world’s top economists and business leaders support the push for a basic income.

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Basic income should join forces with a ‘social network’ revolution

Basic Income Earth Network

It’s the start of a new month. You wake up in the morning feeling a rush of energy. The air is thick with a positive warmth. You’re immediately motivated and inspired with a thought that is, as if, circulating around everybody’s mind:

“How can I best contribute myself to society today?”

You immediately do what you need to do: go to the bathroom, put your clothes on, get something to eat, and check your bank account. You see your monthly basic income allowance came in. You get through all these necessities as quickly as possible because you want to start connecting to the means where you draw this positive energy.

That means is a social network.

It is unlike the social networks we use today. Ad-free. Conflict-free.

It is a social network thriving with friendliness and enthusiasm. Everyone feels equally important and responsible for creating it. Everybody actively expresses their opinion in discussions with no fear of judgment, criticism or argument. Everybody listens to everybody and does not simply interject with their opinions.

In exchange for the basic income allowance that entered your bank account a little earlier, you need to answer a few questions in this network. As soon as you see the first question, you understand why you had that thought earlier. The question is:

“How can I best contribute myself to society today?”

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'Blind ideology' behind cancellation of basic income pilot

Kitchener Post

In the months since taking power, the current government seems to take the most joy in cancelling the initiatives of the previous one.

From things like the updating of the health education curriculum to Ontario’s green energy initiatives, if the previous government proposed it, then it must be destroyed.

It doesn’t matter the merits of the programs being cancelled. Some of the cancellations have been so reckless that Ontario taxpayers are now on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars in cancellation fees and lawsuits.

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Money for a post-work world

Literary Review of Canada

In May 2017 Mark Zuckerberg took to the stage at Harvard University and used his commencement address to call for something that even a few years earlier would have been regarded as radical, at least coming from a capitalist billionaire: Governments, he said, should start giving everyone a regular paycheque, no strings attached. “We should have a society that measures progress not just by economic metrics like GDP, but by how many of us have a role we find meaningful,” Zuckerberg told his audience. “We should explore ideas like universal basic income to make sure everyone has a cushion to try new ideas.”

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